German researchers have shown that the rewards of a healthy lifestyle include lowering the risk of suffering a stroke. They analyzed data from nearly 24,000 people and determined that those who maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, exercise regularly, consume alcohol only in moderation and eat a healthful diet rich in vegetables were less likely to have a stroke.

Smoking increased the risk of stroke dramatically. Former smokers did not have an elevated risk of stroke, so quitting is protective. Heavy drinking was also associated with a greater risk of strokes, as was excess weight, especially around the waist. The investigators suggest that 38 percent of strokes could be avoided by following the common-sense recommendations above.

[Stroke, online May 29, 2014]

The People’s Pharmacy perspective gently suggests that we should all listen to our grandmothers. In most cases, if we followed their advice, we would find the stroke prevention factors listed above would already be a natural part of our everyday living. 

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  1. Kate

    Hi. I’m having a moral dilemma: should I share my concern –which I believe would be unwelcome — or not? I believe that my wonderful daughter-in-law — The mother of my only wonderful grandson– is at risk for a stroke. Why? Her biological father has had severe problems with stroke and other, cardiovascular issues although he is still alive and able to talk and to move about the house at 70.

    I ran across a study in the NYTimes 2/11 “premature delivery is tied to heart risks in the mother”. Double the risk. She gave birth to a full term baby a month early without other complicating factors. She could lose 40-50 pounds a year and a half later and she drinks 2-3 glasses of wine at dinner (so do I :-(( but these are mentioned as being important for stroke.

    I am interested in health and nutrition. She sometimes takes offense as when I mention the sugar in products destined for the baby. Otherwise we get on well. I don’t know what to do. She might live to be old and healthy. Advice is welcome. Thanks.

  2. gw

    Did the research study the blood pressures of the 24000 people? The data would be so much more valuable if it also analyzed blood pressures versus stroke likely hood for those living an otherwise healthy lifestyle.

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